“This year’s Laureates in Economic Sciences started out with fundamental theory and later used their results in practical applications, which have spread globally. Their discoveries are of great benefit to society,” Peter Fredriksson, chair of the prize committee, said in a statement.
According to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the economists invented new formats for auctioning many interrelated objects on behalf of a seller motivated by doing good for society rather than simply achieving the highest price possible.
In 1994, US authorities first used one of their formats to sell bands of radio spectrum. Doing so helped ensure that taxpayers were benefiting from the sale of radio frequencies that were owned by the government but of enormous value to mobile network operators.
The prize for economics is officially known as the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences. It was established by Sweden’s central bank and has been awarded since 1969 in memory of industrialist Alfred Nobel.
Milgrom and Wilson will share 10 million Swedish kroner ($1.1 million) in prize money.